Brown?Young Goodman Brown and Endicott and the Red Cross and two short stories that, I believe, have many subliminal messages. The author of both, Nathanial Hawthorne, uses symbolism many a time to bring across these messages along with his personal beliefs of life, and the people of the 17th century. Religion is the basis of both stories. Both men go against religion. So what is an American? Not necessarily someone that goes against religion, but stands up for their rights, for what they want.
The biggest symbol in Young Goodman Brown is the idea of faith. Before he goes on his errand, he is talking to his wife, promising he will come back, but in actuality he is talking to his faith, as in religion. He subconsciously knows he is going against his faith on this errand, but will return. My love and my Faith, replied young Goodman Brown, of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again When Brown says later in the story I am losing my Faith, he is not only about his wife, (which is shown through her pink ribbon in the tree), but more about his religion, which is flashing before his eyes. This errand was a test of Goodman Browns faith. When Brown hears people singing hymns in swears, it is a symbol of the corruption of the church. The name Goodman Brown I think is very ironic. Is he a good man after this errand?
The sword in Endicott and the Red Cross is a symbol of the ideas of the Puritans. When Endicott thrust his sword through the flag, he was using their new idea to get rid of those of the English. When he pointed at people with the sword when he was talking, he was referring to his beliefs. But Endicott, in the excitement of the moment, shook his sword wrathfully at the culprit This is showing how he put his ideas in the face of Williams and the English. The Red Cross represents the English power and religious ideas forced upon the citizens of the colonies. When Endicott cut the red cross out of the flag, he was ridding his people of the English power. This was going against religion, a common theme among Hawthornes writings.
What is an American? After reading these two passages, I would have to say that we are a people that religion is not really a big thing. These two stories go against religion and faith. Everything these people believed in was questioned. An American is someone different from an Englishman. An American is someone with their own ideas, their own faith, their own morals. When the English still had rule over the colonies, people were persecuted for having different ideas, nowadays, people are persecuted for not letting people have their own ideas. Americans are their own people. Not very many countries have the same standards as we do. But that is what makes us us.